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Tips to stop your cat from biting

 by lucy on 20 Dec 2017 |
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Whether it’s an affectionate action or a move made in self-defense, biting is a problem when it comes to cats. To address the issue, you must first examine what’s causing your cat to bite and then tackle the underlying problem.
 
Cats—especially kittens—engage in rough play such as stalking, chasing, pouncing, swatting, kicking and biting. This not only helps them hone their hunting skills, but is a key part of social play. Unfortunately, this friendly behavior can leave you with scratches that can become infected. Biting can also be a form of communication for cats and your feline may be using his teeth to tell you something— that he’s hungry, wants you to open a door, or the litter box needs cleaning. If your pet tries to lead you somewhere or meows immediately after he bites, he likely is aiming to direct your attention to his needs. Cats also bite when feeling stressed or anxious. This can be due to anything from loud music or roughhousing children to introducing a new pet to the household. Animals also bite to assert dominance, and your cay may be using this behavior to declare himself chief of the household. You’ll know your pet is trying to be alpha if his biting is not playful, he does not attempt to cuddle afterwards, or he refuses to back down.
 
To stop your pet from biting, you must first evaluate what is causing the behavior. If Kitty is using his mouth in self-defense against boisterous children, for example, try putting your pet in a separate room before they arrive. Keep your home as calm as possible and minimize changes if your pet’s biting seems linked to stress. If your cat is biting as a part of playtime, provide him with plenty of toys and alternative sources of entertainment. Engaging your cat in play about twice a day with a catnip mouse, fishing pole, or other toy not only redirects his hunting instincts away from your hands and feet, but also reinforces the bond you share with your pet. You might even consider getting a second cat for your pet to play with or building him an outdoor enclosure to burn off extra energy. And remember— never use your fingers as toys when playing with your cat.
 
While you should never strike or shout at your pet, you can clap your hands and say “No” firmly when he bites. If you are playing, put your cat in “timeout” by ending the game immediately and walking away. You may also want to keep a squirt bottle nearby and use it immediately after your cat bites. Some owners find success keeping toys on hand to throw and redirect a biting feline’s attention. With consistent training, your pet should adjust his biting behavior.

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David Young
David Young
United States, Birmingham
18 Jan 2018
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